Tuesday 30 July 2013

Reception year curriculum

This is an odd post to write. In many ways, I feel that I shouldn't be writing it as after all, little ones mainly learn from life yet I know that without planning and some degree of formal learning, there will be a bored little boy on my hands. Yes, Youngest Son reaches school age in September. Legally, he doesn't need to receive formal education until the term after he is five which isn't  until later in the academic year but the vast majority of children enter school the September in which they are rising five.

Of course, he has been learning all his life and in many ways, being home educated, the beginning of next term doesn't make so much difference. 

Having a child, with plenty of energy at home, means that the more plans the better. Don't think that he will be sitting at a desk all day, many of these plans involve play and activity.

Anyway, on to the plans.

This year we have used the Bible Road Trip as a rough outline and we plan to continue doing this. I was pleased to note that there are going to be suggested readings from Carine Mackenzie's 365 Great Bible stories in the new Kindergarten section of this curriculum

English aka literacy and language arts

I'm planning to use Jolly Phonics.

 Youngest Son loves the Finger Phonics books.

After the holidays, I hope to introduce some of the other components of the programme.

Younger Son has already been using Reading Eggs and this is something we plan to continue. It also buys me some time to spend working on reading with Younger Daughter.

Somewhat to my surprise, Younger Son has become interested in writing a few words . Hopefully, this will continue along with some work on fine motor skills. The homegrown preschooler has helpful ideas for fine motor control and emerging literacy as well as most of the other areas in this post.

Read alouds are really important here and we tend to read many picture books each day. Over the year, I hope to read a few simple chapter books.

We are planning to use some of the Five in a Row books and do extension activities from these. 

When Younger Daughter was this age, I went through the National Curriculum for maths, for reception and year 1, and worked out a schedule of learning from everyday life. It did work but much of it had already been accomplished and she soon needed to go onto something written down so we used Mousematics which comes with the Mother's Companion. This is the plan, again.

At this age, most of the science will be informal "fun science." Youngest Son has shown considerable interest in the more hands on activities which I have practised at home for the group studies on the human body. We hope to continue making hands on projects to go with this.

Social studies aka history and geography
Much of this will be informal and around places we visit. 
Five in a Row will also provide opportunities to study Japan (Grass Sandals: the travels of Basho), Australia (the Pumpkin runner), the US (Snowflake Bentley), Hungary (Hanna's Cold winter), Russia (Another celebrated dancing bear) and Italy (Angelo).
Youngest Son has shown some interest in what is under the ground so we hope to look at this, using a Journey in Learning lapbook as a rough outline. 

The Five in a Row books will provide opportunities to use different art techniques. We have used the Usborne First book of art but have now finished working through this. I could do with a second volume!

The plan is that music will be informal. We don't have enough music around the house and I hope to be more intentional about playing music. With our extended Circle Time, we have been practicing a hymn each week and hope to continue this.

Gross motor
Youngest Son is a bundle of energy so getting out and about is particularly important. We don't have anything formal planned beyond, possibly, some swimming but do plan to go outside most days so that he can run and climb.


  1. Sometimes I really wish we could go through the elementary years again. I miss the slower pace and all the fun stuff.

    1. Yes, this is fun. The older years seem much more serious.

  2. I miss these early years of homeschooling. Five in a Row was our staple, too. I really wish we could still use it some days!

  3. Looks like you have a fun year plan for your little one. Enjoy!

  4. I downloaded some of the Bible Road Trip stuff that I plan to use. Have fun with FIAR - we did the first book. :)

    1. We love FIAR. It will be fun going back to it. I've been refusing to let the children look at the new books but they are excited about FIAR again!